CBS Evening News for Friday, Dec 12, 1986
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(Studio: Dan Rather) Day's developments in Iran arms scandal listed.
(DC: Phil Jones) Refusal of National Sec. Council staff member Lieutenant Colonel Robert Earl to testify before Senate Intelligence Committee and Congress's reaction featured; scenes shown. Refusals as well of Colonel Oliver North and John Poindexter recalled. [Senator David DURENBERGER - sees nothing heroic in trio's desertion of cntry.] [Senator Robert DOLE - hopes President will demand that North and Poindexter testify.] Criticism over CIA director William Casey's lack of action upon first learning of diversion of Iranian arms sale funds to Contras noted. [Representatives Lawrence SMITH, Ted WEISS - see alternative as being either CIA is run by idiots or agency was full partner in operation.]
(DC: Bill Plante) President and Nancy Reagan said wanting North and Poindexter to testify; details given, scenes shown. [REAGAN - wants full disclosure; won't allow scandal to interfere with business of government] White House staff's strategy to deflect public's attention from affair described; commercial shown courtesy Citizens for America. [Senator Dan. MOYNIHAN - doubts campaign will succeed.] Contd. call for chief of staff Don. Regan's resignation noted underscored by White House meeting of President, Nancy Reagan, Michael Deaver, Robert Strauss and William Rogers to discuss situation.
(Studio: Dan Rather) Report introduced.
(DC: Rita Braver) Controversy over Attorney General Edwin Meese's temporary halt to Justice Department investigation of diversion of Iranian arms sale funds to Contras examined; details given, scenes shown. Meese said asking FBI dir. William Webster to delay inquiry into Southern Air Transport's role; airline, formerly operated by CIA, noted linked to captured gunrunner Eugene Hasenfus. Rel. between timing of investigation's delay, hostage David Jacobsen's release and administration's denial of any knowledge of illegal Contra supply operation through Southern Air Transport noted. Southern Air Transport said allegedly also airline used for Iranian arms shipments. Justice Department's defense of investigation's delay quoted on screen. [Representative John CONYERS - explains focus of Congress inquiry into Justice Department itself.]
(Studio: Dan Rather) CIA director William Casey reported denying reports that he contradicted himself; details given. Switzerland recalled freezing bank account in Colonel Oliver North's name there last week
(Bern, Switzerland: Doug Tunnell) Concern that evidence in Iran arms sale investigation has been compromised by Swiss government's decision today to unfreeze North's account due to unusual delay in United States government's inquiry discussed; details given, scenes shown. [Swiss justice minister spokesperson Jorg KISTLER - describes questionable United States behavior.] North said sharing another account at Credit Suisse with General Richard Secord (ret.) and Albert Hakim. [KISTLER - explains government's poor handling of freeze request.]